Survey of Mugger crocodile in Goan water bodies such as lakes, rivulets, streams will be carried with the following objectives:
- To identify and note the mugger crocodile habitats, (lakes, rivulets, streams) in Ponda taluka, and document mugger nests and breeding activities.
- Secondly photo documenting various activities of mugger to study their life cycle will be given priority.
- To study the threats to the crocodile habitat due to human crocodile conflicts.
- To make awareness about crocodile presence and need for conservation of crocodile.
Water bodies in Goa are abundant of variety of reptiles and amphibians. Being an apex predator in amphibians, a study needs to be done on habitat loss and pressures from human settlements and activities.
In recent years, survey with locals reveals that, croc population is on the rise due to several aspects such as, poaching of Indian monitor lizard and killing of snakes. As a result there are many cases of human crocodile conflict in this area. Religiously respected in some parts of Goa, these majestic reptiles show their presence in almost every village of Goa. As a result, there are frequent cases of crocodile rescues and crocodile attacks on livestock and domestic animals. Secondly due to rise in numbers, they are sited more often and considered as fatal threat by humans. So awareness with thorough study of crocodile behavior and habitat is vital for their conservation in future.
- Informal interviews and questionnaire surveys will be conducted with the locals to understand their perception of the Mugger crocodile and if they consider them as threats and/or nuisance.
- We would also attempt to gather information about the crocodile’s nesting sites from the locals.
- Areas such as lakes, freshwater streams, and estuaries will be traversed to locate and photo document the crocodile and their nests.
- The location of the nesting sites will be marked using a GPS and Range finder respectively.
- Evidences of fresh scats and other activities will be documented with the help of camera traps.
- Active nesting sites will be monitored for hatching success rate and temperature readings.
The data collected will be disseminated amongst the scientific community through reports and also to the masses through posters. Thousand posters will be distributed amongst various schools across the state.